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Verizon, Qualcomm & Ericsson Complete Massive MIMO Trial

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Verizon Communications Inc (VZ - Free Report) , Ericsson (ERIC - Free Report) and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc (QCOM - Free Report) , have recently completed the first successful FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input-Multiple Output) trial with a fully-compatible customer device.

Verizon is a telecom giant in the United States, while Qualcomm and Ericsson are major network equipment providers. All the above-mentioned stocks carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The trial was completed using Ericsson’s latest Massive MIMO software and hardware and Verizon’s wireless network on a mobile test device. The test device was powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset (which is equipped with the X20 LTE modem). The modem supports the Transmission Mode 9 (TM9) technology which is compatible with Massive MIMO. The tests were conducted in Irvine, CA.

Ericsson’s Massive MIMO portfolio is set to release in 2018 alongside commercial smartphones with TM9 compatible chipsets.

Massive MIMO is a vital component of 4G LTE Advancements and is likely to play a major role in the evolution of 5G technology. Accordingly, the deployment of Massive MIMO antenna setups will prepare the network for the upcoming next-generation 5G deployment. With TM9 functionality, Massive MIMO has the potential to improve the performance of the LTE network, maintain signal stability and thus enhance the overall customer experience with higher speeds.

The latest trial is another important step in between the three companies to evolve 4G and upgrade the network for 5G. The move marks a big milestone on the road to 5G. The companies have plans to continue the collaboration on similar technological advancements. In August 2017, Verizon, Qualcomm and Ericsson set their benchmark achievement by attaining a download speed of 1.07 Gbps (gigabits per second). The trio claims to be the first in the industry to have surpassed the Gigabit speed barrier of 1Gbps on 4G LTE.

The latest achievement marks the companies’ leadership in terms of technical innovation.

Industry leadership

Verizon is focused on enhancing customer experience by introducing the most advanced technologies in the real-world environment. Recently, Verizon announced plans to launch 5G wireless residential broadband services in three to five U.S. markets in 2018. The first commercial launch is scheduled in Sacramento, CA, in the second half of 2018. The company has been conducting field trials for 5G wireless network with partners in 11 U.S. cities. It was the first wireless giant to deploy the 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) network nationwide and has initially tested equipment at 15GHz, 28GHz, 39GHz and 64GHz frequency bands for 5G network deployment.

Qualcomm Technologies has been at the forefront of driving Gigabit LTE and 5G in the industry. Ericsson is working to improve end-user experience and develop new functionalities and advancements with greater spectral efficiency on LTE. Notably, the wireless equipment providers continue to progress in 5G technology and are engaged in multiple trials with different operators across the world.  In January 2017, AT&T Inc (T - Free Report) joined Ericsson and Qualcomm to test the initial 3GPP 5GNR specification in the second half of 2017.

Price Performance

Verizon portrays an impressive price performance. In the past six months, shares of Verizon have rallied 18.8% compared with the industry’s gain of 5.3%.


In the said time fame, shares of the Qualcomm returned 14.9% while that of Ericsson lost 9.6% compared with the industry’s rally of 2.5%.



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